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  • Writer's pictureSumbella

Positivity: Part 1 #UncleLen

Updated: May 3, 2023

Uncle Len was a man with a plan: he knew that as a British citizen, if he reached the age of 100, he would receive a telegram of congratulations from the Queen of England herself.

#UncleLen learned about this fact when he was just a child.

He kept it in his mind, throughout his life.

And when he reached his 90s, the thought of that telegram became a beacon, beckoning him on.

Even in his bleakest moments, he would say things to me (Sunny Jim) like:

“Can’t give up now, nearly got my telegram, Sunny Jim".

By knowing about his telegram #goal, it also meant I could remind him of it when he felt low.

There were times when he confessed to us that he'd have rather had a gun to his head than endure the kind of pain he encountered in his late 90s. 💔

But this was a man born in the 1920s, who was made of tough stuff, and had a clear goal in mind:

🎯 To get a telegram from the Queen of England.

For months, he and I would begin to refer to this big life goal of his using a single code word:


For many of us, it is only natural to think of goals and life plans at the moment.

And while it is actually quite difficult to set a SMART life goal for a full year, there is something else you can do, taking Uncle Len as a model.

Reflecting on his approach, I distilled his goal setting strategy down to the following:

1️⃣💭 Consider your current season of life thoughtfully, carefully.

2️⃣🏆 Think of something you’d really like to be, have, or do if you were experiencing the ultimate peak of this season in your life. Perhaps even consider some recurring thought or dream you've had throughout your life, even as a child.

3️⃣💬 Coin it with a single key word. Share that word and what it represents with your closest, most supportive loved one. 💌

Let that word pull you forward, onwards and upwards this year.

Let your loved one remind you of it when you’re tired.

Let it keep you afloat, when you feel heavy.

Like Uncle Len, I took a leaf out of his playbook and relaxed a little with my goal setting this year. I’ll be doing what he did, and holding a vision of my own code word close to my heart and top of mind as we progress through 2023.

I’m committed to moving through this year with a more intuitive approach, keeping my core elements and values front and centre, and doing things that align with them. I’ll also be allowing some room for a little magic to happen. ✨

You may be wondering whether Uncle Len received his telegram from the Queen in the end… well. I shall have to let you know what happened in Part 2.

Coming soon. 🍿👀

P.S. Did you know about this tradition of the Queen sending a telegram to British citizens who reach 100 years old? I do not know if the new King of England will continue it. Will he? 🙇🏻‍♀️🇬🇧 ✉️

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